When starting a yoga and meditation practice, it’s a good idea to be clear on your intentions. Write them down. Ask yourself why you want to start a regular practice in the first place. Are you interested in a stronger, more flexible body? A quieter mind? Do you want to look good in your new Lululemon yoga pants? Whatever the reason, when setting your intentions, it is important to keep in mind that the body represents a detailed map of your past. Our bodies today reflect every thing we’ve done or put into it; the exercise (or lack of), the rest or sleeplessness, the years of sitting in a computer chair and those extra cookies you ate after dinner last night. We don’t want to spend too much time thinking of all the negative or even positive actions of our past (no judging!), but just to be fundamentally aware that our bodies are constantly regenerating and what we do moment to moment to moment affects our overall health and wellbeing.
Before we start our yoga practice, set your intention for this practice. Can you practice with awareness and a non-judging mind? When you reach to touch your toes (or your shins!) can you just simply be aware of the sensations in the body? When we practice yoga with the intention for awareness and an openness for change, we experience more fully the benefits of the practice.
Whatever your reasons for beginning a yoga and meditation practice, keep your goals and intentions in mind, but try not to hold too tightly to them. Life is about change; from the weather, to our relationships, to our jobs, children, health. The more acceptance and flexibility we can muster when it comes to change, the more our lives will unfold with ease.